November 3, 2014
Happy first week of November! It’s hard to believe the fall months are nearing an end with winter approaching fast. November is a busy month, preparing for Thanksgiving and the holiday season, however during all the excitement, it is still important to address how to create and establish a healthy community.
November is recognized as American Diabetes Month. This subject hits close to home because my sister was diagnosed with type 1 (juvenile) diabetes at the age 9. One of the visions of the American Diabetes Association, especially during November, is to raise awareness of this ever-growing disease. There are two types of diabetes that are known. Type one is insulin-dependent, meaning that sufferers have to inject the insulin hormone into their bodies in order to produce what the body can’t. Type two is not insulin dependent, but means that one has high blood pressure and a decreased amount of insulin within the body. Recently statistics on the American Diabetes webpage states that nearly 30 million children and adults in the U.S. have diabetes. Another 86 million Americans have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The cause of type one diabetes is still being researched but there are several risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes. Some of these risk factors include weight, diets, physical inactivity, and high blood pressure.
So what are program opportunities helping to increase awareness of the risks of developing type two diabetes? One idea suggested by the American Diabetes Association is to provide your employees with resources to access online tools communicating lifestyle information. Our Employee Wellness Programs page displays two ideas of how to implement physical activity and healthy eating within your department established by Garner Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources, and Kannapolis Parks and Recreation.
Garner led a series of healthy lunches that were followed by a health-centered presentation or activity encouraging staff members to create healthier choices for programs and events offered to the public. Kannapolis encouraged employees to become more active by passing out pedometers and tracking their steps on a large map. They also conducted biweekly mid-day fitness & team building activities to encourage participants to become involved and healthy.
An additional strategy is to share the Healthy Snack Guidelines among your community. Unhealthy eating habits is a huge contributor to the development of type two diabetes. The Healthy Snack Guidelines provides guidelines and resources for increasing healthy snacks and food in sports, camp, afterschool and other programs. You can implement healthy snack options among your fall sport teams. The Healthy Wayne Task Force which includes Goldsboro Parks and Recreation produced this flyer for youth sport leagues promoting water and healthy beverages. Providing information for the community is the first step to raise awareness of healthier options. You can also read the position statement NCRPA and the SWAC Committee adopted which promotes healthy eating and youth sports.
During the month of November and beyond lets work together to help North Carolina communities to be healthy while we support efforts to battle this illness affecting thousands of children and adults. If you have any programming ideas to promote healthy eating and physical activity within your community then please email us or submit them on the wellness site here: (firstname.lastname@example.org,http://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub)
Graduate Assistant,NC Recreation & Park Association
883 Washington St, Raleigh, NC27605